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Three Common Misconceptions about Designing Your Cybersecurity Solution

 Outdated cybersecurity solutions with data backhaul and hardware upgrades cost organizations millions of dollars each year. There are other alternatives to backhauling data that keep your network secure and your costs down. Here are three misconceptions of designing your cybersecurity solution.

 

1. Thinking that backhauling data from remote offices and mobile workers to on-prem appliances is the only way to protect a distributed organization.

 

 Since the age of the mainframe in the late 60s, centralizing your IT infrastructure was logical. Most companies had large headquarters where a majority of their employees worked, and infrastructure was housed centrally to provide compute power and business resources. As technology advanced through the mid-90s, internet and email became common work tools, meaning organizations now had the flexibility to conduct business from multiple office locations. Enter the Blackberry in the early 2000s, and now we’ve reached the distributed age. Businesses are rarely in one location. If you consider every mobile device accessing work applications a “remote office,” you have now gone from securing one site to securing hundreds.

 This exponential increase in business locations puts increasing strain on your network security plan. While the pain of backhauling data as you added individual remote offices was manageable, the concept of backhauling data was never designed to scale to the mobile world we live in. This new paradigm shift in business requires a new approach to network security. Continuing to backhaul data from mobile users and remote offices is like . It might work for today, and maybe for tomorrow, but you either keep paying for more sandbags, or consider a new approach that is designed for the current situation.

 

2. Completely rearchitecting your network by moving to an all cloud solution is the only way to avoid excessive backhaul

 

There are cloud-only SWG solutions that provide infrastructure cost benefits, but they come with a pricey compromise – reacrchitecting your entire network to direct all traffic to cloud-based SWGs. A cloud-only approach is not for every business. There are compliance issues for many industries, legal ramifications from data privacy laws, and operational security concerns that arise from using a multitenant cloud. If you have requirements that can’t completely be met by a cloud-only SWG, it’s critical that you find a solution that’s built for the cloud, but not built exclusively in the cloud.

 

3. Believing that leveraging cloud and on-prem capabilities means you have to manage two separate interfaces or sacrifice policy consistency.

If you’re already one step ahead and know that you don’t have to rely on solely cloud or on-prem secure web gateways, perhaps you are exploring a hybrid solution. Traditional “hybrid” solutions have two different systems operating in tandem. While this seems like a good idea in theory, it creates significant management overhead and headaches to administer the two systems. For example, policies often only sync in one direction, which creates gaps in your security plan as you work to ensure each system is managed correctly. Not to mention that the two systems frequently lack feature parity, making uniform policy enforcement a real challenge.

Your experiences managing your network security should be seamless and should not require separate management systems just to reap the benefits of both cloud and hybrid deployment. Your secure web gateway should give you the flexibility to define your own network security policies without reconfiguration or sacrificing user experience.

 

Beyond backhauling

Most companies haven’t reevaluated their network security solution because the thought of ripping and replacing appliances or completely reconfiguring their network is enough to scare them away. But SWG solutions designed 10-15 years ago were built to secure a different type of organization than we see today, so it’s worth considering other options.  It is not financially sustainable to backhaul the increasing amount of data created by a mobile workforce. Instead, find a solution that leverages the cloud to avoid expensive VPN and MPLS links, but also doesn’t force you to overhaul your network architecture.

Believe it or not, there are network security solutions that were built specifically to support the distributed organization. iboss designed the first Distributed Gateway Platform to address the challenges facing decentralized organizations today by leveraging an elastic, node-based architecture that scales to meet changing bandwidth needs. Learn more about the changing secure web gateway landscape and the needs posed by distributed organizations.

As you think about your security needs over the next five to ten years, evaluate whether your current vendor can help you scale and grow without network rearchitecture, management of multiple, isolated systems, or increased bandwidth costs from backhauling data. Here are 11 things to consider as you evaluate and plan for your cybersecurity needs in the coming years.